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Article | Argonne National Laboratory

Study shows possible expanded use for cancer drug

A cancer drug developed at the Advanced Photon Source may be following a local tradition and going for a Chicago Bulls-like three-peat.

The drug Votrient, or Pazopanib, was approved in 2009 to fight advanced kidney cancer and in 2012 to fight advanced soft tissue sarcoma. Now, according to a New York Times article, a new study shows the drug may delay ovarian cancer relapses. The drug’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, is applying for FDA approval for use of the drug against ovarian cancer, according to the Times article. The results of the clinical trial were published as part of the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting June 3.

Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source.

GlaxoSmithKline developed Votrient through research begun in 2008 at the APS at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago.

X-rays from the APS were used to identify the best target in the cells to block tumor growth. Votrient is an angiogenesis inhibitor, which interferes with the growth of new blood vessels needed for solid cancer tumors to survive.

This research was done by scientists from GlaxoSmithKline using the APS and the Industrial Macromolecular Crystallography Association Collaborative Access Team beamline, which is operated through a contract with the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.

Leading pharmaceutical companies routinely use the APS to study how viruses and diseases enter healthy cells, how cellular mutations cause diseases, and to find new cellular targets for drugs.

Uses of Votrient to target a multitude of malignant cancer are under study. Another potentially promising use, according to an article in News​-Medical​.net, is to fight a rare form of thyroid cancer that strikes people in their 60s and 70s. A combination of the drugs pazopanib and paclitaxel shows promise in slowing anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), according to a Mayo Clinic-led study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.